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IAEA Director General in Russia opens ATOMEXPO and Nuclear Management School, meets President Putin

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IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano during his opening speech at ATOMEXPO, Sochi, Russian Federation, 14 May 2018. (Photo: C. Brady/IAEA)

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visited Sochi yesterday to take part in the opening of the 10th ATOMEXPO nuclear power forum and to inaugurate the third Russia-IAEA Nuclear Management School. While in Sochi, Mr Amano met President Vladimir Putin.

ATOMEXPO is an international forum for discussion on the modern nuclear power industry, organized by Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM. Industry leaders, representatives of international, national and public organizations, Russian and foreign companies, and experts in this field attend it every year.

“The Agency remains committed to helping the world make optimal use of nuclear technology to generate low-carbon energy for development, and to counter the effects of climate change,” Mr Amano said during his speech at the opening.

At the opening too, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy Mikhail Chudakov talked about the role of nuclear power in the future. He highlighted the IAEA’s assistance package for countries considering adopting nuclear power, giving an overview of the IAEA’s Milestones Approach and Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) missions.

Mr Chudakov discussed the digital future of nuclear power plant control systems, sharing the IAEA’s activities related to the design and application of instrumentation and control systems, which monitor all aspects of a nuclear power plant’s health.

Director General of ROSATOM Alexey Likhachev (left) and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano at ATOMEXPO in Sochi, Russian Federation, 14 May 2018. (Photo: C. Brady/IAEA)

“We have to keep our eyes on developments [in instrumentation and control systems] and gather sufficient evidence that these technologies and solutions are mature enough for applications in our industry,” Mr Chudakov said. “The IAEA stands ready to support the global nuclear community in this crucial field.”

More experts in nuclear

In conjunction with the ATOMEXPO forum in Sochi, the week-long Russia–IAEA Nuclear Energy Management School for managers in nuclear organizations took place. The school’s aim is to ensure that the next generation of nuclear professionals acquire the knowledge and expertise to manage complex nuclear programmes efficiently and safely.

“Ensuring the availability of highly qualified staff to assume responsibility for the safe, secure and sustainable operation of nuclear facilities in the coming decades is extremely important,” Mr Amano said during his opening speech at the school. “We also need to ensure that critical knowledge is not lost when experts retire.”

Mr Amano said that sharing and maintaining specialist knowledge is a challenge both in countries with established nuclear power programmes and newcomer countries — countries considering introducing nuclear power.

The IAEA organized the first Nuclear Energy Management School, together with the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, in Trieste, Italy in 2010 and it has since taken place annually in the United Arab Emirates, Japan, the United States, South Africa and Russia. The 21 Nuclear Energy Management Schools held so far have trained more than 700 young professionals from both newcomer and expanding countries. The Schools are open to applicants from all IAEA Member States.

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